LAKE HAVASU CITY – A mandatory recount will not necessarily be conducted in a very tight race for a Lake Havasu Unified School District (LHUSD) governing board seat. Deputy Mohave County attorney Ryan Esplin said school board contests are exempted from the Arizona state law requiring recounts when candidates are equal to or less than one-half percent apart in their unofficial vote total.
As of Wednesday, Barbara Lumpkins (9696) led Lisa Roman (9695) by just one vote for the second LUHSD board seat, far behind Sharon Harvey (11,351), who appears to be an unofficial winner of the other board seat. How many ballots left to be tallied that would involve LUHSD votes is unclear.
Mohave County School Superintendent Mike File recalls that recounts were conducted twice before in school board races over the years. He said recount numbers exactly matched the initial counts and that the tied races for school board seats in Littlefield and Chloride were both decided by coin flips.
A coin flip determined outcome could result if Lumpkins and Roman end up tied in both the initial count and any possible recount.
While the state half percent apart recount rule does not apply to school board races, Esplin says various provisions remain for candidates and citizens to contest or litigate results.